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Southern Poverty Law Center on Proposed ‘Bama Book Ban

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 04/29/2005 @ 9:36 am

The folks at the Southern Povery Law Center – which isn’t just for poor Southerners anymore – have dissected a bill introduced into Alabama’s legislature that would ban “gay” books.

Practical matters aside, State Rep. Gerald Allen is certainly aware that his proposed statute violates a core tenet of the First Amendment — it’s commonplace knowledge that the government is prohibited from stifling speech because of its message, idea or subject matter. [See R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 u.s. 377, 386 (1992)]

And Allen’s bill represents the most egregious form of content-based regulation because it is viewpoint-discriminatory. [See Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 u.s. 819, 829 (1995) (explaining that “[v]iewpoint discrimination is … an egregious form of content discrimination").]

The bill would prohibit only those materials that promote homosexuality, leaving books that cast homosexuality in a negative light unscathed and on Alabama bookshelves.

From the Southern Povery Law Center.


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